Strike a pose

During a long run on November 23, 2014 I overloaded my left ankle tendon, resulting in ankle tendinitis. My first real injury in 3 years of running. I was sentenced into 4 weeks of resting and my left feet in a flexcast.


Around the holiday period I was running again. Short runs of 2 to 3 kms as a maximum for the first two weeks. I didn’t mind, I was happy to be running again and my first race wasn’t for another 7 weeks.

By the second half of January 2015 I was doing long runs again. But not for long … I felt a continuous nagging in my (lower) shins. Shin splints? Injured again? “NOOOOOOoooo!!!” I was diagnosed with overloaded lower legs. Both of them. Apparently I started running long runs too soon after my ankle tendinitis was healed. The inflamation was gone but my legs weren’t fully recovered from the inflamation.

ice ice baby
Ice ice baby

My sports doctor made me rest two weeks and told me I wasn’t allowed to run more than 10km at a time for the next 4 weeks. This meant I had to skip my first race (33km) of the season.

Time to read

During the two weeks I was forced to rest, I had some time to do some research. Maybe my running technique was wrong or something else I was doing was wrong? I stumbled upon the Trail Runner Nation podcasts. When I listened to the Crush Every Race from 5K to Ultra with Brian MacKenzie and the How to Run Faster, Farther and Injury-Free for Life with Dr. Nicholas Romanov episodes my mind was blown. They both mentioned the Pose method for running.

the pose method
Three elements of pose method running ©

You have to do a lot less running, compared to traditional endurance running training schedules, but with the correct technique and more core strength excercises. You will run more efficient thus using less energy and you will be able to run longer. The strength excercises will help your body sustain those endurance runs. The byline of both books comes down to “How to run faster, farther and injury-free for life”. The emphasis on “… injury-free for life”.

Given my current situation I immediately bought both e-books on iTunes (The Running Revolution 1 and Unbreakable Runner 2 ). Romanov invented the Pose method and MacKenzie adds some Crossfit Endurance to it.

First you have to learn the proper running technique through drills and do a lot of compound crossfit excercises to make your entire body stronger. This is the transitioning program. Very little actual running is involved in these first 6 weeks. You are allowed to do some running but only after you did your excercises. They want you to be fresh and fully focussed when you perform these excercises. After this first schedule you start with a 5K schedule, a 10K schedule, half marathon, marathon and finally ultra schedule. MacKenzie advices every runner aspiring the ultra distances to complete all schedules, even for the experienced (ultra) runners.

When I write this post I’m in my first week of the transitioning program. My body was a wreck after the first workout. Chest was stiff, could barely raise my arms above my shoulders. It’s clear this program is telling me how weak my (upper) body is and how I neglected it the last 3 years. I was too focussed on running and nothing else. I hope in 6 weeks I will be transformed in a runner with a solid base. Fingers crossed.

To be continued…